How to Plan for Your Brand Photography Session

27 June 2023

Often we’re so desperate for new photos we skip over the planning part. When you’re not in a creative frame of mind – feeling rushed, or you’re just not a ‘creative type’ – it feels baffling enough. So, you might feel tempted to skip the planning before reaching out to a photographer. True enough, your brand photographer should be able to think creatively around your brief. But what happens if you don’t even know what to put into that mysterious brief?

Not all small businesses have a marketing department, yet a little prep goes a long way in finding you clarity and gaining a really purposeful set of images that you will use over and over. From my own experience as a brand photographer here in London, here’s some advice to help you prep for your next branding shoot.

pinning images to wall in brand development session

Get clear and set expectations

I get it. Planning a photo shoot can be a daunting task. Especially if you don’t know what to expect from the experience. Get clear on your vision for both your business and your shoot, and you’re halfway there already.

What does your photographer need from you? Knowing who you are, what you do and why you do it are key for your photographer. They will also want to be clear on the style, the look and feel, of your shoot so that they’ll know a) if they’re a good fit; and b) the lighting, props, styling to use for your shoot. For example if I discover a client is looking for a high contrast, popping flash-lit style of photography, I would instantly know it wasn’t the job for me.

How to plan your brand shoot with ease - download link - image of photographer shooting writing pad and pens with scrunched up paper

For a complete guide on how to plan for your brand photography session, download a free copy of my shoot planner.

Don’t leave planning your brand photography session to the last minute

When planning for your photoshoot, it’s important to get a few things clear before the day itself. Photography done well is an investment and one worth making the most of. Set your intentions and you’ll be off to a good start.

moving photos around for a story board

Ask yourself the following:

  • Why do you need this shoot? For example:
    • Are you a new business / personality in need of an image bank all your own?
    • Are you launching a new campaign, event or product?
    • Is it a seasonal shoot – for example, summer or Christmas? For which marketing opportunities would you use the images?
  • What is your budget?
    • Do you need a space (factor in hire costs)?
    • Have you considered props, even minimally?
    • Will you need models or volunteers who will need reimbursing?
  • What is your timeframe, and do you have any wiggle room with it?

Gaining Inspiration

Once you know what you’re looking for, get your date booked in! Your next task will be to get inspired, so this step should help you between booking in and doing a shoot. You might not think this now, but once you have planted the seed in your mind, ideas will start to emerge. You’ll be amazed at what comes up in the interim! To give you a little more guidance, here are a few places to gain inspiration when it comes to planning your brand photo shoot:

eco glue and brush, magazine cuttings and scrapbook

  • Look at brands you respect
  • Open your mind to organisations outside of your own industry or style 
  • Gain inspiration from magazines & Pinterest
  • Create your own moodboard!

Prepare well in the days before your brand shoot

I’ve compiled this list of tips to help you stay calm before your branding shoot from my experience as both a photographer, and owner, of a small business. Follow these tips before your next photo shoot and you’ll be well on your way to getting some gorgeous shots that reflect who you are and what makes people love buying from you.

writing notes for a brand photography shoot in a london home studio

If you’re thinking about booking a shoot for your brand, familiarising yourself with these tips is a great first step. You can also download a free shoot planning guide from me to help you plan better in the days beforehand. Stay calm and don’t stress – if you’re completely stuck and would like a bit more guidance, I am only a phone call away. Book in your session and I will be happy to help you plan your shoot.

Meet Frances, London Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer

meet Spirited photography

Hello! I'm Frances, founder of Spirited Branding and Portrait Photography, London. I'm here to offer you inspiring portraits using my tried and tested tools to challenge camera shyness, alongside curated branding imagery that will up-level your brand. Spirited works mostly with change-makers, ethical businesses and creatives.

I invite you look over my headshot and portrait photography or branding photography services, and would love to help you with your next branding shoot!